By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama State Representative Jim McClendon (R) held a fundraiser Wednesday evening at Red Diamond in Moody, Alabama. The three term member of the Alabama House is running for District 11 in the Alabama State Senate.
Over 65 attendees were hosted by Red Diamond CEO Bill Bowron in the spacious headquarters of the Alabama coffee and tea giant. Bowron introduced Rep. McClendon and said that he was proud to host the Springville Republican.
Rep. Jim McClendon told the gathered friends and supporters that the newly redrawn Senate District 11 is perhaps the most conservative Senate District in the state and it deserves to be represented by a proven lifelong conservative. McClendon told supporters that he shared their conservative values and he would carry those values to the Senate.
McClendon would likely be unopposed again if he ran for his current House seat, but chose the more challenging rout to gain the senate seat in order to better represent his home district.
McClendon thanked his friends for their friendship and support and expressed confidence in his campaign going forward. The longtime Moody and Leeds area optometrist introduced his wife, El, his daughter, Lara and his granddaughter Natalie.
McClendon supporter Joe Kelly told ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ that McClendon was a good friend, a good business partner, and that Kelly was committed to doing anything he could do to help McClendon in his run for the Senate.
Many St. Clair County elected officials were present including: St. Clair County Commissioner Paul Manning, Commissioner Ken Crowe, Coroner Dennis Russell, Moody Mayor Joe Lee, former Moody Mayor Bill Morris, Riverside Mayor Rusty Jessup, St. Clair County Presiding Judge Jim Hill, and St. Clair County School Board members Marie Manning and Scott Suttle.
Additional McClendon fundraisers for September are scheduled for Columbiana on Thursday and Pell City on Tuesday, September 24 at Sammy’s Touch and Go next to the Pell City Airport.
McClendon faces District 11 incumbent Senator Jerry Fielding (R) from Sylacauga in the June Republican Primary. Fielding was elected to the Senate in 2010 as a Democrat; but then changed to the Republican Party during the summer of 2012 after redistricting transformed the district into a much more conservative, Republican leaning district. The old district 11 included all of Talladega County and parts of Calhoun, Coosa, and Elmore Counties. The new district 11 includes parts of Talladega, St. Clair, and Shelby Counties.
The winner of the Republican Primary will face a general election challenge from Democrat Ron Crumpton, who is running on a platform advocating the legalization of marijuana, gambling, and same sex marriage. Crumpton has recently criticized Governor Robert Bentley’s education policies.
Additional candidates may also qualify for the 2014 election in Senate District 11.